Published January 14, 2014
The latest trend in the over-the-top world of Las Vegas is throwing extravagant parties--for a divorce.
“I call it ‘divorced is the new single,’”said party planner and owner of the website Divorce Party Planner, Glynda Rhodes. “I mean there’s celebrations for everything why not celebrate ‘I made it through, I survived.’”
Rhodes, who is a long-time party planner, says she got the idea for divorce parties two years ago when she threw the first one for her friend and business partner who went through a painful divorce.
"It was kind of a way of saying thank you to everybody that took my phone calls, listened to everything I had to talk about, hating him with me,” Rhodes' partner Mari-Rene Alu.
Rhodes has since planned dozens many more divorce parties, which start at $1,000 and can cost over $5,000. She said it takes months for her to plan a party because she likes to get to know her customer personally so she can throw a customized party.
“If they want to burn their dress, or if they want to go to the spa --everybody has a different way they want to release,” Glynda said.
Wendy Lewis is Rhodes’s latest client. She said she went through a lengthy legal battle with her ex and had to short sell her home to pay for the legal fees.
“It’s so stressful that by the time it’s all over, all you want to do is have a release,” Lewis said.
In fact, the release is something that helps bring closure. Some licensed relationship therapists actually recommend the parties for their clients.
“So they can heal and detach from all the grieving and stress they’ve been through,” said Donna Wilburn, a marriage and family therapist based in Las Vegas.
“If I see somebody getting stuck in the mourning around divorce I may ask them to set up something like with their friends just to do something different than to sit and be unhappy about it,” said Vegas-based clinical psychologist Dr. Tiger Devore.
Clients are encouraged to let loose, but celebrate responsibly.
“We try to encourage no crazy, no regrets,” Rhodes said.
Lewis says after months of courts, lawyers and fights, the best part of Rhodes’ services is finally being able to sit back and just have fun.
“I don’t have to do anything but be there. And that alone is worth a few thousand for me,” Lewis said. “I’m like, ‘I’ll take it.’”